UK: Digital regulator finds almost half of people get their news from social media

The digital regulator in the United Kingdom has found that around half of adults get their news from social media. Ofcom’s ‘News consumption in the UK: 2019’ report found that 49% of people now get their news via social media, up 5% from the previous year.

According to the report, Facebook is the main place for news with 73% of those who get their news via social media saying that this was the platform they used to stay up-to-date, Twitter came in at a distant second with 33% claiming to read the news there. Facebook declined in this respect from 76% in 2018 while Twitter went up by 1%. In third place, WhatsApp went from 22% in 2018 up to 30% in 2019 which means it saw the biggest growth this year.

While there has been a trend away from physical newspapers in the UK, people seem to be opting for social media to read the news, rather than using dedicated websites or apps. In 2018, of those who get their news online 40% got items from social media posts, 32% mostly got news from dedicated websites and apps, and 21% used both equally, just 7% said they didn’t know.

In 2019, things have shifted a bit, getting news mostly from social media jumped to 41%, getting news mostly from dedicated websites and apps decreased to 30%, the mix of both jumped to 25% and just 5% reported that they don’t know.

The most popular organisations for news in the UK on all platforms were BBC and Sky News, the two main news organisations in the UK with 24/7 TV news channels. BuzzFeed and LadBible were also pretty popular taking the third and fourth spots on several platforms.

Over the last year, news consumption via the internet has increased from 64% to 66%, beating both radio (43%) and Newspapers (38%), however, Television (75%) is still the primary source for news despite declining from 79% in 2018.

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